Flickering Lamp

Project Status: Complete


I’d thought of this and then Adam Savage beat me to it! An electronic flickering battery powered lamp. There has been a release of much more realistic electronic fire bulbs since they have started using addressable LEDs. I want to convert some of them to battery power to go in various lamps that I own.

This is the bulb that I bought…


….its cost me about £3

So I cut the base off, went to plug it in and poke at it to work out what DC voltage it ran on and the transformer audibly popped. So I cut the transformer off and went with guess work.

3v…. Nothing, 4.3v… all LED’s on but no flickering (3xAA Batteries), 5v…. all working.

Turns out I was wrong about some of the voltages. The bulb actually alternates between fully on and flickering.

Cheap Ikea lamp to mount it all in! The battery pack can go in the top and then a switch can poke through a random star.

I needed to diffuse the light more, so I popped out each of the glass panels and used them as a template to cut out matching shapes from a plastic milk bottle.

The little latch that orientates the switch didn’t quite fit in one of the points of the star which made the switch just not sit plush. So I filed out the star point…

I tried to hot glue the battery pack into the top of the lantern. That did not go well!

In a flash of inspiration I hot glued some thick foam to the back of the battery pack and then wedged some thin ply underneath to hold it all in place. The foam is thick enough that it is slightly compressed and holds everything in place so nothing rattles or falls out! To change the batteries I just need to press the wood up, slide it to one side and it should pop out.

Neatly and carefully (!) bodge a load of hot glue to hold the LEDs into the tea-light holder.

The step that I missed photographing before this is drilling a hole through the back of the tea-light holder to run the cables out of.

A tiny blob of hot glue to hold the cables behind one of the uprights so it doesn’t drift behind a pane and cast a shadow.

I’ve dry-brushed and smudged the corners of the panes as they were just too clean.

I’ve dry-brushed edges and bits that would wear in silver as it was all too clean and nice!